By Leah Baker
Photos by Paul Flessland
As part of our November 2016 issue of Fargo INC!, we reached out to some local companies with great company culture for some tips on how to make your company a great place to work. Here is what Stoneridge Software had to say.
Consistent & Efficient Meetings
What? Another meeting? Meetings might not sound like an innovative way to assist in establishing a great culture. But, with two offices 300 miles apart and many employees that work from home, it’s how we connect as a company and ensure that everyone is kept abreast of what’s happening. We have regular all-company team meetings every Friday. The team gathers in conference areas in our Barnesville and Minneapolis offices and anyone working from home or not in the office calls in. We start each meeting with employee recognition for demonstrating our company values. Business and project updates are covered as well as good news, best practice stories, company reminders and a Q & A session – all in 20 minutes. Each manager also has a recurring periodic one-on-one with each of their team members to check in, discuss goals and address concerns. Departmentally, each team has a periodic “Level 10” meeting to cover what’s happening across the team in a broader sense. These meetings are strategic in focus and follow a consistent format, keep everyone informed and head off any issues before they become problems.
Beer & Pizza
Nothing brings people together like food. We have a standing Thursday date at noon at the local pool hall. Everyone knows this is the day when the entire team goes to lunch together. Those who work from home or in other offices often make an effort to stop in on Thursdays to make sure they have the chance to hang out with the team. We also hold summer grill-outs and themed potlucks. A few fun potluck themes we’ve enjoyed: bacon, soup and Oktoberfest.
Officevibe (Or Any Anonymous Feedback Gathering Tool)
Everyone has a voice and wants to be heard but not everyone has the courage to speak up at the office. We use a web-based tool called Officevibe, which sends out a short weekly questionnaire to each person to answer anonymously. Any effort to provide this option in a company would be valuable, even if it were a piece of paper in a suggestion drop. Providing a channel for anonymous feedback gives everyone a voice and gives the company leadership a chance to keep a pulse on the morale of the team. We have gotten very valuable feedback from the team and use the reporting features of the software to identify areas we need to dedicate time and resources to.
A well-received effort has been our focus on employee well-being. Our Healthy Dynamics committee sponsors a different “challenge” each quarter to encourage weight loss, physical activity, healthy eating or meditation. It encourages the team to be mindful of our health and provides a little friendly office competition. Healthy snacks are stocked for purchase and company-sponsored meetings must always include a healthy option. Employees appreciate that the company cares about each person’s physical and mental health and not just their output at the office.
Gratitude goes a long way and it’s 100 percent FREE. Our company has a “Kudos” page on our SharePoint site where team members can enter in their thanks or congrats for a coworker’s job-well-done. New entries are highlighted at the weekly all- company team meetings. Work anniversaries are recognized each quarterly company meeting. And our annual company meeting features the “Stoneys,” which are peer- nominated nonsense awards such as “Most likely to leave the water cooler empty” and “Most understanding of millennials.” Some of these are a well-placed pat on the back and the others encourage light-hearted fun.
About Stoneridge Software
101 Front St. S, Barnesville, MN